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Iwata pledges to push Nintendo beyond games

Chief executive reiterates focus on all entertainment

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has pledged to expand the corporation's remit beyond video games.

In an interview with Diamond.jp, Iwata was asked to comment further on his statements in January that Nintendo would "expand into a new business area" and "extend the definition of entertainment" with its 10-year 'Quality of Life' platform.

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Iwata replied that the public perception of Nintendo as merely a video game company is one he aims to change, as was the aim of his late predecessor Hiroshi Yamauchi.

"A lot of people around the world think Nintendo is solely a company that makes video games, and I believe more and more of our own employees have started thinking in this way," Iwata explained.

"Some employees in charge of development find themselves in positions where all they are thinking about is how they can make the game in front of them more fun, so I don't think it can be helped if others outside of our company see us the same way.

"So even though we won't chance the fact that our focus is on video games, I felt the need to take that occasion to state that Nintendo is a company that can do whatever it wants."

Iwata also stated that it was one of Yamauchi's mantras that led to his announcement regarding the Quality of Life platform in January.

"Yamauchi always said 'Nintendo is an entertainment company and should never be anything else', but he didn't necessarily think 'entertainment equals video games'," he explained.

"I was wondering how to express Yamauchi's feelings, and I thought about it non-stop, even during the New Year's holiday break.

"Recently the words 'quality of life' have been coming up regularly. Entertainment is there to improve people's quality of life. After your basic needs, there's entertainment. However, when it came to improving people's quality of life, I didn't know the difference between us and household appliance makers.

"At the start of this year, I finally figured that the concept of 'improving people's quality of life with fun,' with emphasis on the 'fun', would be perfect for Nintendo. And that's why I decided to focus on this during the financial results meeting in January."

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